CLLI Leadership Survey Report Now Available


The full report to the CLLI Team at Nexus Community Partners is now available online. This report shares findings of a pre-initiative survey completed in February 2020. Findings reveal how CLLI learning community participants define and think about community leadership values, processes, strategies, and practices. Survey responses reported here were collected before the initiative’s first session, or Phase 1. The survey will be administered again after the initiative’s final session to see if responses have changed.

During the Community Leadership Learning July 9th webinar, Nora Hall, Ph.D, and Karen Gray (GrayHall LLP) highlighted results. This snapshot provides a starting point for understanding leadership with and in communities. The CLLI Learning Community meets monthly to explore collective leadership and the many ways communities’ cultural practices impact our authorship over our lives and futures. We want to co-create a shared narrative about what constitutes healthy and vibrant community leadership.

The Leadership Survey Report shares learning community participants’ insight about nuances in community leadership and engagement, including:

  • Preferred Community Leadership Approaches
  • Leadership and Community Engagement
  • Leadership in Communities Facing Systemic Inequities
  • Community Leadership and Social Determinants of Health
  • Additional Community Leadership Comments

Read the executive summary or full report.

Interested in participating in our learning community webinars? Click here to see our learning calendar and resources.

Survey findings from the Community Leadership Learning Initiative


The Community Leadership Learning Initiative (CLLI) goal is to deepen our collective understanding of community-driven leadership. We want to raise the visibility of community leadership to philanthropy and the broader ecosystem of leadership and community development.

CLLI welcomes people from across the country to share in regular virtual learning opportunities. Together, our learning community explores topics such as:

  • What does collective leadership look like when operating from a cultural context?
  • How does a community’s cultural practices impact their authorship of their lives and future?
  • What are the conditions and supports that allow natural community systems to flourish and evolve?

With our evaluation partners, CLLI is working to refine key findings about what constitutes healthy and vibrant community leadership. Join our next CLLI webinar to hear more about survey findings from the Community Leadership Learning Initiative. We are excited to share what we are learning. Session information and registration link for the webinar are below.

Event: Leadership WITH/IN Community

  • Thursday July 9th
  • 2:00 – 3:30 p.m. EST/ 1:00 – 2:30 p.m. CST
  • Sign up now!

This session gives participants opportunities to examine nuances in community leadership and engagement. Learn how community leaders define and think about community leadership values, processes, strategies, and practices based on a survey conducted in February 2020. Nora Hall, Ph.D., and Karen Gray (GrayHall LLP) will share this snapshot of how Community Leadership Learners perceived community leadership work. We will discuss preferred community leadership approaches, leadership in communities facing systemic inequities, and leadership and community engagement.


We invite you to learn alongside grassroots community leaders, funders, leadership practioners and intermediary organizations as we explore the many ways we practice community leadership. Learning opportunities include virtual gatherings and in-person site visits.

In case you missed the Community Leadership Learning Initiative launch session last week, you can listen to the meeting recording here.

We welcome everyone interested in community leadership to register for our upcoming virtual gatherings:

Framing Leadership: Community Ownership & Authorship

  • Apr 20, 2020 01:00 – 2:30 PM Central Time (US and Canada)
  • Register for the April 20th meeting here.

Making Change: Discovering & Disrupting the Story of Us

  • Jun 3, 2020 09:30 AM Central Time (US and Canada)
  • Register for the June 3rd meeting here.

In addition to these virtual gatherings, we offer intentionally small-group settings for in-person, onsite learning co-hosted by community storytelling partners. Learners must apply and seats are limited. Early application is encouraged.

May 6, Boston MA—Unique Perspectives & Shared Power: Leadership as Solidarity

  • Integrating convivir to re-establish intergenerational and cross-cultural responsibility
  • Intentional code-switching to break silos and share power
  • Enhance skills for telling and interpreting messages across context/culture

June 24-25, Washington DC—Identity & Intersectionality: Leadership & Belonging*

  • Claiming LGBTQ identity and stories of belonging in multiple communities
  • Core practices of healing internalized oppression and resilience
  • Creating intentional community spaces to disrupt traumatic response behaviors

July 29, Buffalo NY—Recentering Culture: Celebrating & Shifting Norms

  • Combatting stereotypes that assume healthy, sustainable food is for affluent, white consumers
  • Highlighting core relationships between food, culture, environment and economy
  • Creating collective systems that reflect community values, history and experiences

Sept 24-25, Baton Rouge LA—Inverting Power Structures: Leadership as Movement

  • Creating fluid processes to collectively activate wisdom from those most impacted
  • Defying false boundaries between public and private, formal and informal
  • Leaning into a new leadership paradigm


And don’t forget to save the date for our final Storyshare Convening, November 11-13th!


Nexus Community Partners supports strong, equitable and just communities in which all residents are engaged, are recognized as leaders and have pathways to opportunities. With support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, we created the Community Leadership Learning Initiative to deepen our collective understanding of community-driven leadership, while raising the visibility and demonstrating the value of this powerful work to the field of philanthropy and the broader ecosystem of leadership and community development.

We will convene three virtual gatherings for stakeholders across the country who are interested in exploring community leadership practices. We also offer opportunities, co-hosted by grassroots community partners, to experience community leadership in context.

Through this learning journey, we hope to identify and co-create:

  • Shared narratives and a framework for supporting community-driven leadership, offering people in different sectors and cultural communities new ways to talk about community leadership
  • Tools to help people think and act differently in support of community-driven leadership
  • Opportunities for resources to flow to communities more effectively
  • Shifts in systems so that institutions are internally organized and operating with community leadership at the center
  • Shifts in practice so that people own their roles and act with agency to effect change as part of the community


As a Leadership for Better Health initiative funded by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, we will be hosting a virtual convening for funders to better understand our relationship and role in supporting community leadership. (Funders only, please.)

Community Leadership Learning Initiative – Funder Convening

Mar 26, 2020 01:30 – 3:00 PM Central Time

Register for this funder convening here.